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ConnPIRG Pans I-95 Widening Plan

(AP Photo/Douglas Healey )

Part of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s $100 billion, 30-year transportation plan includes widening I-95. The proposal would cost $11 billion to make 110 miles of the highway wider throughout the state.  A report released on Tuesday by the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group says the proposal is a bad idea.

ConPIRG Director Evan Preston said the state would do better to invest in rail and other forms of mass transit.  Preston said Americans are driving less, and he said Millennials are mostly responsible for this cultural shift. 

"The driving boom is over, and if we’re going to attract talent to the state, if we’re going to keep young people in the state after they graduate from college, we need to be providing options that allow people to not depend on their cars," he said.

State Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D- Westport) also opposes the plan to widen I-95.  He said widening the highway won’t solve the problem of congestion. 

"If anything, you end up with more cars on the road and no real improvement in congestion," he said. "It seems arguable that this is not the best use of scarce resources."

Malloy is also a Democrat.  He responded to these criticisms by saying I-95 is one of the most congested highways in the country and widening it is part of creating a first class transportation system for Connecticut.  Malloy said his transportation plan does include money for improving the state’s railroads.

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including founding producer of the midday talk show, The Full Story.